Kia Motors is ready to launch new models in India to expand its local market presence.
The company announced on Dec. 5 that it held a ceremony to mark the completion of a plant in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, India. Built on a site of 2.16 million square meters, the new factory is a state-of-the-art car production plant with an annual production capacity of up to 300,000 units.
The plant features a 100 percent wastewater recycling system, more than 450 robotic automation facilities, and automatic model and specification recognition systems based on smart tags. In addition, a variety of smart technologies have been applied to the plant. They include a robot monitoring system in the paint shop which detects any abnormal condition of the facility at an early stage. The production line was designed in consideration of production of eco-friendly cars such as hybrid and electric cars in the future.
The Indian factory started to produce the Selltos in July this year. For the past five months until November, a total of 48,625 units were produced, with 6,155 units exported to India, the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. The figure is about 80 percent more than the 27,200 units sold in Korea during the same period.
The Seltos sold 14,405 units in India last month alone, making Kia Motors one of the top four brands in India. Its gap with third-ranked Mahindra was only 182 units. In addition, the Seltos made a strong sensation in November, ranking 6th among all models and 1st among SUVs in terms of sales. As a result, Kia Motors has nearly doubled its production target in India for this year to 64,000 units from 36,000.
Kia Motors plans to launch strategic models exclusively for India. It has developed two RVs for the Indian market –- a premium multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) and a small entry SUV. It plans to roll out the MPV in the first half of next year and the SUV in the second half. In this case, the Indian plant is expected to produce 160,000 units annually next year. It is expected to reach maximum output of 300,000 units by 2022. The two models will feature advanced connected services such as automatic emergency rescue, vehicle location tracking and remote start.
Kia Motors will take the wraps off the premium MPV at the Delhi Motor Show in February 2020. The model has been developed with a luxury MPV concept for the top class of the Indian people. The small-entry SUV scheduled to make its debut in the second half of next year is a strategic model targeting emerging markets such as India, the Asia-Pacific region and the Middle East.